Seven ways we can guard and repair relationships

Excellent from Ray Ortlund:

1.  We can rejoice in one another, because the Lord rejoices in us.

Psalm 16:3 sets the tone: “As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”  There is excellence to admire in every Christian.

2.  We can create an environment of trust rather than negative scrutiny.

1 Corinthians 4:5 says, “Do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.”  Human eyes are not competent to judge human hearts.

3.  We can judge ourselves, even as we give each other the benefit of the doubt.

Matthew 7:5 says, “First take the log out of your own eye.”

4.  If a problem must be addressed, we can talk to, not about.  Gossip destroys.

Matthew 18:15 says, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.”  James 1:26 says, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”

5.  If a problem must be addressed, we can avoid blanket statements but identify factual specifics, offer a positive path forward and preserve everyone’s dignity.

“You are ___________” is too absolute to be fair.  It leaves a person with no freedom to improve.  Better to say, “In this situation, when you _____________, that set us back.  It would be helpful if, in the future, you would ______________.  What do you think?  And is there anything I can do that might help?”

6.  We can always extend kindness.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another.”  The word “kind” is used in Matthew 11:30when Jesus says, “My yoke is easy.”  Kindness asks, “How can I make this situation as easy for the other person as possible?  How can I avoid embarrassing this person?  How can I make a positive response as easy as it can be?”

7.  When we do wrong one another, we can say to the person harmed, “I was wrong.  I am sorry.  I’ll try not to let it happen again.  Is there anything I can do now, to make a positive difference?”

Where a wrong has been done, as the Bible defines wrong, an apology heals and helps.

“Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.”  Genesis 33:4

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s